Brandeis International Business School

Immersion trip gives students a glimpse of Panamanian and Colombian economies

EduCo partner Brandeis International Business School (IBS) aims to give students the skills and knowledge they need to graduate world ready. To achieve this, the institution offers many opportunities for students to participate in programs that see them immersed in industries and markets across the globe.

The Hassenfield Fellow Overseas Immersion Program gives students an intensive introduction to industries and economies of countries around the world. Established through the generosity of Alan Hassenfield, co-chair of the Board of Overseers for Brandeis IBS and former Chairman and CEO of Hasbro Toys, the program aims to personify his passion for education through personal encounter for students. Understanding a country’s culture, arts, religious beliefs, geography and traditions is crucial in understanding how its markets work.

In May, 18 Brandeis IBS students from the Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance and the Masters of Business Administration programs were selected to attend the Panama and Colombia Immersion trip. Participation in a half-semester long course prior to the Immersion was essential to understanding the political, social, historical, business and cultural nuances of the countries; students developed their knowledge on these subjects through case studies, readings, multimedia presentations and guest speakers.

During the Immersion, students discovered more about what makes the Panamanian and Colombian economies and businesses different to American businesses: the macroeconomic environments, the importance of family enterprise, the role of innovation, the focus on the development of new ecosystems from past political and educational challenges, key business sectors, the importance of natural resources and geography, and other societal factors affecting business including religion and poverty.